Das Bettelweib von Locarno, von Heinrich von Kleist (in German)

heinrich_von_kleist

Nach sage und schreibe sechzig Podcasts ist es endlich an der Zeit, Kassensturz zu machen. Und wissen Sie, welche Geschichte am besten läuft? Na, meine englische Version von Heinrich von Kleists “Das Bettelweib von Locarno”! (Das liegt bestimmt nicht daran, dass diese Geschichte eine meiner kürzesten ist, oder?) Höchste Zeit also, auch eine deutschsprachige Variante anzubieten…

Das Bettelweib von Locarno, von Heinrich von Kleist {9:13}

The Green Door, by O. Henry

O. Henry2

“Adventure” is a term that we all think we understand. But what is “true adventure”? Does it mean chasing after elusive goals, against all odds and at great personal risk? Or does it mean something else entirely? Like, say, a state of mind, rather than a state of play. Tonight’s short story by O. Henry, first collected in “The Four Million” in 1906, holds up a mirror to many a latter-day would-be “adventurer”. Coming with Henry’s trademark “twist” at the end, it is one of my favourites by this author.

The Green Door, by O. Henry {8:14}

The Alarming Spread of Poetry, by P.G. Wodehouse

Wodehouse

Vers libre is free verse, of course, and whether its impact has really been as deleterious to modern taste and morals has P.G. Wodehouse suggests in his 1916 essay, I’ll leave for others to judge. I myself write novels and short stories, and my collection of poetry hasn’t been grown appreciably over the past decade or so. And yet, I’m pretty sure one could effortlessly update this article to the 21st century simply by substituting “fan fiction e-book” for “poetry.” Try it – and see if I’m right.

The Alarming Spread of Poetry, by P.G. Wodehouse {7:06}

Near the Black Forest, by Erica Jong

Erica_Jong

In my opinion, this chapter from Erica Jong’s 1973 novel Fear of Flying is one of her best works. Her plea for individual courage and brutal honesty towards ourselves resonates as powerfully – and perhaps, in our own habitually hypocritical era, even more powerfully – today than it did forty-one years ago.

I have lived my life according to this principle: If I’m afraid of it, then I must do it.

Near the Black Forest, by Erica Jong [40:20]